Cheltenham Racecourse railway station
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|Owned by||Great Western Railway|
|Operated by||Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway|
|13 March 1912||Opened|
|25 March 1968||Closed|
|14 March 1976||Closed|
|7 April 2003||Re-opened in preservation|
|Stations on heritage railways in the United Kingdom|
|A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
|Railways around Cheltenham|
On the ex-Great Western Railway Cheltenham to Stratford line, the station opened in 1912 to serve the new racecourse at Prestbury Park, home of the famous Gold Cup meeting. The platforms were later extended to accommodate trains of up to 14 carriages. The station was only opened on race days and so facilities were rudimentary, but it continued to serve racegoers until the 1976 Cheltenham Festival.
Although most of the stations on the line closed in 1960 the line itself remained open for non-stop passenger services until 1968. Special trains on racedays only served Cheltenham Racecourse station from 1971 until 1976. The line was also used as a diversionary route with no scheduled passenger services until 1976 when a freight train derailed at Winchcombe and damaged the track. The line was officially closed in 1976 and the track was lifted shortly afterwards.
Cheltenham Racecourse is now the southern terminus of the 12-mile long heritage Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, run entirely by volunteers. The line has been reopened in stages. The line trackbed itself was bought in 1984. The track from Gotherington to the racecourse was relaid in 2001. The line was reopened as a heritage railway by the Princess Royal on 7 April 2003.
The station is in a cutting fringed by Corsican pine trees. Its northern end, where it emerges from the cutting, affords views towards Cleeve Hill. The original station booking office is believed to be the only remaining example of a Swindon-built flatpack prefabricated building that was brought by train and assembled on site. It is perched at the top of the cutting, next to the A435 roadbridge and close to the main entrance of the racecourse. It has a collection of artifacts housed within it. A gentle slope gives access to the platform where there is a new station building with a canopy, toilets and waiting room. The station has two tracks, one adjacent to the platform and the other to allow locomotives to run around the train. A new signal box was opened in 2005 to control the signals and point work around the station.
Access to the station by car is only via the main racecourse entrance. There is a large free car park. A bus service runs from the Network Rail Cheltenham Spa station, through the town centre to the Racecourse Park and Ride, about 10 minutes walk from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway station.
Platform 2 Resurrection
In 2012, as part of a new Development Foundation, the GWSR launched an appeal to reconstruct Platform 2 at Cheltenham Racecourse station. Reconstruction of Platform 2 was completed in 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cheltenham Racecourse railway station.|
|Preceding station||Heritage railways||Following station|
|Gotherington||Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway||Terminus|
Line open, station closed
|Great Western Railway
|Cheltenham High Street Halt|
Line and station closed
|Proposed Heritage railways|
|Terminus||Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway||Cheltenham Malvern Road|
Line and station closed